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Cheltenham Gold Cup 2010

Cheltenham National Hunt Festival

Friday 19th March 2010

The highlight of the National Hunt Festival week is the running of the Gold Cup on Friday at Cheltenham. Widely considered as the greatest race meeting of the year, crowds gather from around the world to witness the fantastic spectacle that is the Gold Cup race. The day was billed as the clash of the two stable mates: Kauto Star and Denman.

Corporate clients arrived early at the Hospitality Suite to find crisp Racing Posts and race cards awaiting them. Hostesses served champagne while guests soaked up the vibrant atmosphere ahead of one of the biggest sporting events on the calendar. With the day's hospitality now in full swing, Channel 4 Racing's John Francombe gave his own opinions and tips on the day's big race, before clients took their seats for a sumptuous four course luncheon.

Any last minute bets could be placed at the tote betting stands within the corporate hospitality suite ahead of the first race at 1.30pm. Due to the ideal location of the hospitality facility, clients are provided with a perfect base to enjoy the entertainment on offer at Cheltenham. Situated just yards from the main grandstand and the parade ring, clients need only make the short walk from the facility to join the enormous crowd gathered trackside.

The raising of the tape for the first race was met with huge cheers from the Gold Cup day crowd. A brave Barizan went out hard early on in the race, opening up a seemingly unassailable lead of 15 lengths from the chasing pack at one stage. But he inevitably tired in the latter stages and the pack began to reel him back in to set up a truly grandstand finish over the final furlong. The tiring Barizan just couldn’t resist the advances of Barry Geraghty’s Soldatino, who claimed his third win of the race week.

Some clients preferred to view the action from the comfort of the hospitality suite where they were served drinks by the hostesses and could follow the action on the plasma screens inside.

The second race saw Katie Walsh steer Thousand Stars to success in the County Hurdle to claim her second success of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival.

There was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the racecourse ahead of the main showdown of the Gold Cup and the excitement in the crowd grew with each passing moment.

Any last minute bets on the feature race could be placed at the private tote betting stands inside the hospitality suite, avoiding the swathe of punters queuing outside. An enormous crowd gathered at the final furlong for what was sure to be the showpiece event of the entire week.

The rain was just starting to come down as the crowd sank to a deathly hush before the start, then a huge roar erupted from the grandstands as they set off. Carruthers took the early lead, with Denman in second place just behind and Kauto Star looking relaxed back in fourth.

Denman challenged Carruthers as they went out on the second circuit, with Cooldine, Imperial Commander and Kauto Star still tracking them closely. Ruby Walsh was being given a rollercoaster ride on Kauto with a couple of niggling errors from the favourite, who never seemed settled and dramatically fell after a poorly timed jump.

Denman and Imperial Commander turned for home neck and neck, both having run a huge race up to this point, but it was the outsider Imperial Commander who took the lead and went clear to claim a famous Gold Cup victory in front of a jubilant crowd at Cheltenham. Soon after, the buoyant guests returned to the Hospitality Suite to enjoy the rest of the day’s entertainment.

As the final day at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival drew to an end, corporate clients left in fine spirits having thoroughly enjoyed a tremendous day of corporate entertainment with Hospitalityfinder.

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